Home Sweet Home
Updated: Aug 30, 2019
After being nomadic for the first three months in New Zealand, we finally found our new home.
First, some background. The average home is $875,000 as of January 2018. Yes, you read that correctly. And what does that money get you?
This house sold for over a million, but it was in Ponsonby, super fancy area. I am sure this was getting redone or dozed for something better.
But this home, which is in on the market in the same area we are living in now, will likely sell for well over a million.
Needless to say, our thoughts of buying a house in New Zealand were abruptly changed once we fully understood the market. So, we decided to rent. Renting, however, is also very different here than it is at home. Turns out, since no one can afford to buy and Auckland is suffering from a housing crisis, the rental market favors the landlord. When you find a home you like, there is an open cattle call for it. If you can somehow re-arrange your work schedule to check it out in the middle of the day, you meet the property manager with at least 10 other people. Unfortunately, most of the landlords here are anti-dog. They don’t mind cats as much, but almost every property I found was no dogs or no pets. I looked at many homes, some were complete shit, while others were really nice. The nice ones tended to have shared drives and not much of a view, but they were decent houses. One of the properties we were interested in had the landlord living in the garage below. Although we didn’t mind that, we still really wanted a place that was ours and not a shared space. So, I kept looking. We finally found a place that we loved, but they absolutely wouldn’t accept pets, no matter what we offered them - extra deposit, etc. The next step was to either look at renting another airbnb or up our budget. So, I checked out airbnb options and turns out they don’t like dogs either. So, up the budget went. We moved our cap from $650 a week to $750 per week. Yes, week, not month.
With that change, a new listing came about in Eastern Beach. Eastern Beach is a suburb within the eastern area of Auckland. This area would be about a 30 minute drive to work for me, but a much longer commute for Sean. However, it was close to the gym and the area we ultimately wanted to settle in, so I went and viewed the property. Lucky for me, I was the only one who showed up. The property was undergoing a complete renovation and was perfect. It’s right on the beach and the view is phenomenal.
1. Fenced yard
2. Completely renovated
3. View / Location
4. 3 bed / 2 bath - plenty of room for guests, hint hint
5. Modern finishes
6. Car port and street parking
7. Outdoor storage
8. Parking for campervan / boat (not useful for us, currently)
9. Beach access
11. No mold
12. Raised garden beds
Here is our location and how close we are to the beach. We are the hobbit hole next to the red pin.
I was sold, right away. The property manager was also more helpful than the others and provided tips about marketing ourselves to the landlord. She told me to put a portfolio together rather than just filling out a paper application. The portfolio would need to include pictures of us, the dogs, our previous home, etc. This would differentiate us from other applicants. So, I spent a fair amount of time building a portfolio for our little family. And, it worked! We got another meeting with the landlord and his family, won them over and signed the lease.
Even though we signed the lease and moved in the following week, there is still work being done at the home. We are patiently waiting for our grass to grow, lights to be hung, fence to be replaced and decking to be built, but it’s worth it. I can’t wait for the days when I can go to the back deck, lounge in my hammock and drink my morning tea (yes, morning tea is a thing here).
Side note: It's likely we'll be on a certain show soon about moving internationally, which is why I can't post pictures of our current home. But, stayed tuned for more on this.